On February 11, the results of the project «Assessment of environmental and social problems of the Baikal natural territory» were published. The project is a large-scale analytical study to identify the causes of environmental and social problems in the Baikal natural area and expert proposals for their solution. The work on the project was carried out by «Ecocenter Zapovedniki» with the participation of Lake Baikal Foundation in terms of studying the international experience of strategic environmental assessment of natural territories.
Socio-ecological assessment (SEA) is a whole set of measures that allows you to assess the impact of various types of activities on the environment for a certain territory at the stage of their planning, launching and conducting economic activities. The integrated approach of SEA helps to gather the opinions of various stakeholders on existing problems, identify key risks for the development of the territory, and then make the most effective management decisions and engage in business planning with a focus on sustainable development.
The content of the thousand-page report includes 7 chapters:
- International aspects of protection and sustainable development of the Baikal Natural territory
- Implementation of strategic environmental assessment approaches in the assessment of environmental and social problems of the Baikal natural territory
- Assessment of cumulative ecological and social impacts on the Baikal natural territory
- Industrial and domestic pollution of the Baikal natural territory: current status for 2020
- Strengthening the network of protected areas and conservation of biodiversity on Lake Baikal: current status for 2020
- Development of a dialogue between government, business and civil society on Lake Baikal
- Analysis of corporate practices implemented by companies in the Baikal natural area to preserve the unique ecological system of Lake Baikal and support the population
The team of Lake Baikal Foundation worked on the analysis of international aspects of the protection and sustainable development of the Baikal Natural Territory (Chapter 1). We have studied foreign practices for the conservation and restoration of lake ecosystems, compared the current corporate practices of enterprises on Lake Baikal with UNESCO recommendations for the private sector and the experience of companies in other countries and made our recommendations to business to improve corporate social responsibility programs. In December 2021, Anastasia Tsvetkova, General Director of Lake Baikal Foundation, presented the results of the analysis of international SEA practices at the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation.
«The results of the project can be used in the work of federal and regional public authorities, regional public chambers, as well as in the activities of commercial and non-profit organizations operating near Lake Baikal. Analyzing international practices, we sought to show the diverse experience of SEA of other natural sites, as well as to note the existing positive and negative practices of neighborhood with UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites in the world, which may be of interest for acquaintance in the context of the challenges of the Baikal Natural Territory,» Anastasia Tsvetkova comments.
The full version of the report can be found via the link.
Photo: Evgeny Dubinchuk